Big splash to start swimming season

Nearly 150 swimmers plunged into the waters off Governors Beach for the 32nd Annual Foster’s Food Fair 800m Sea Swim on Saturday, 10 September.

For many, it was the first chance to compete against their peers after the summer break in competition, while others saw it as a chance to be part of a group or family activity. Added to the fun was the addition of a 400m swim for younger children who would not have been able to cope with the longer distance in the open water.

John Bodden finishes strong.

John Bodden finishes strong.

“It’s actually very promising,” said Michael Lockwood, president of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA), of the turnout.

“We don’t usually get all the way up to nearly 150 people. We had 143 today overall. It’s good to see the community come out and I think that is partially to do with us putting in the 400-metre swim for the younger kids to encourage more participation.”

Crossing the finish line first was Stingray Swim Club’s John Bodden in 11 minutes. “I was trying to go for first and that’s what happened,” he told as he returned to dry land.

The top three finishers: (L-R) Jonathan Key. John Bodden, and Zach Moore.

The top three finishers: (L-R) Jonathan Key. John Bodden, and Zach Moore.

“It’s a great encouragement boost but I think that I’m already ahead of what I would have been last year, so I think this year will be good,” said Bodden, who won an open water gold medal for the Cayman Islands at the last CARIFTA Swimming Championships in March.

Following him to the finish were Jonathan Key, Zachary Moore and Alexander McCallum. Ria Plunkett, a CARIFTA open water bronze medalist, swam in the Girls 13-14 age group and was the first-placed female finisher, coming home seventh overall.

“My performance was okay. I’ve done better in other sea swims but today was good considering where I am in the season,” Plunkett said, as she got her mind focused on the season ahead.

Ria Plunkett (L) collects her trophy from Tanya Foster.

Ria Plunkett (L) collects her trophy from Tanya Foster.

“My plans are to try and do my best and get as many PBs because last season, I did well but I want to do better so I can go further and go to CARIFTA and maybe make [the] Island Games [team].”

Lockwood, who finished 25th overall, said events like the Foster’s Food Fair 800m Sea Swim are great not only for the competitive swimmers but for others as well.

“It’s good for community building and it helps people to understand the importance of not only swimming competitively but knowing how to swim as a life skill. It’s something that a person living on an island should know how to do and this is a great way for us to try and promote that,” he said.

The CIASA president was full of praise for the family-owned supermarket chain for supporting the event for more than three decades.

CIASA President Micheal Lockwood (L) with members of the Foster family.

CIASA President Micheal Lockwood (L) with members of the Foster family.

“We’re very happy to have that relationship with Foster’s continue for 32 years. This is our second longest-running swim other than the Pirates Week 5K, which is now in its 36th year. We’re very happy that the Fosters have continued to work with us all these years,” he said.

The next open water swims on the CIASA calendar are the 28th annual CUC 800m swim on 8 October and then the Pirates Week 5K sponsored by KPMG on 12 November.



Top finishers in all age divisions:

Boys 8 and under

1st: Phin Ellison

2nd: Luke Dodson


Girls 8 and under

1st: Allie Capasso

2nd: Abi Anderson


Boys 9-10:

1st: Harry Bishop

2nd: Nathan Suitor


Girls 9-10

1st: Gabriella Royston

2nd: McKenzie Pearson

3rd: Kathryn Lambert-Wragg


Boys 11-12

1st: Finn Bishop

2nd: Corey Westerborg

3rd: Stefano Bonati


Girls 11-12

1st: Stephanie Royston

2nd: Avery Lambert

3rd: Jasmine Lambert-Wragg


Boys 13-14

1st: Zachary Moore

2nd: Jake Bailey

3rd: Jordan Crooks


Girls 13-14

1st: Ria Plunkett

2nd: Elana Sinclair

3rd: Audrey Weber


Boys 15-19

1st: John Bodden

2nd: Jonathan Key

3rd: Liam Henry


Girls 15-19

1st: Sarah Jackson

2nd: Stephanie Boothe

3rd: Sam Bailey


Men 20-29

1st: Alexander McCallum

2nd: Michael Lockwood

3rd: Harrison Foster


Women 20-29

1st: Jennifer Harding Marlin

2nd: Myriam Plante

3rd: Stacie Suberswan


Men 30-39

1st: Stuart Bray

2nd: Dave Bott

3rd: Shane Donovan


Women 30-39

1st: Andrea Higgo

2nd: Veronique Poirier

3rd: Sian Hawkes


Men 40-49

1st: Adrien Royston

2nd: Alex Harling

3rd: Johann Prinsloo


Women 40-49

1st: Lee-Ann Corin

2nd: Donna Graham

3rd: Monica Watler


Men 50-59

1st: Kevin Drysdale

2nd: Brian Balleine

3rd: Shane Foster


Women 50-59

1st: Joan Medland

2nd: Jackie Hickey


Men 60 and over

1st: Wayne Hannum

2nd: Victor Thompson

3rd: Frankie Flowers


  1. Pingback: First sea swim of season this Saturday – Cayman Sports Buzz

  2. Pingback: Foster’s Food Fair Sea Swim this Saturday – Cayman Sports Buzz

  3. Pingback: Bodden wins Foster’s Food Fair 800m – Cayman Sports Buzz

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